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I have an old black-lettered History of lord Faulconbridge, whence Shakspere might pick up this circum
FARMER. 5. By this brave duke came early to his grave :] The old play led Shakspere into this error of ascribing to the duke of Austria the death of Richard, who lost his life at the siege of Chaluz, long after he had been ransom'd out of Austria's power. STEEVENS. 7. At our importance -) At our importunity.
JOHNSON. 23. --that pale, that white-fac'd shore,] England is supposed to be called Albion from the white rocks facing France.
JOHNSON. 34. To make a more requital, &c.] I believe it has been already observed, that more signified in our author's time, greater.
STEEVENS. 40. To cull the plots of best advantages :] i. e, to mark such stations as might most overawe the town.
HENLEY. 50. A wonder, lady! -] The wonder is only that Chatillon happened to arrive at the moment when Constance nientioned him ; which the French king, according to a superstition which prevails more or less in every mind agitated by great affairs, turns into a miraculous interposition, or omen of good.
JOHNSON, 60. --expedient-] Immediate, expeditious.
JOHNSON. 63. An Até, stirring him, &c.] Até was the Goddess of Revenge. The player-editors read-ar Ace.
This image might have been borrowed from the celebrated libel, called, Leicester's Commonwealth, origi. nally published about the year 1584.
She standeth like a fiend or fury at the elbow of her Amadis, to stirre him forward when occasion shall serve."
Steevens. 65. With them a bastard of the king deceas'd :). This line, except the word with, is borrowed from the old play of King John, already mentioned. MALONE.
70. Bearing their birth-rights, &c.] So, King Henry VIII.
Many broke their backs with bearing manors on them."
JOHNSON. 73.. Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er-] Waft for wafted. So, again in this play:
“ The iron of itself, though heat red hot-" i. e. heated.
STEEVENS. 75. scath -] Destruction, harm.
JOHNSON. 95. -under-wrought---] i.e. underworked, underinined.
STEVENS. 114. To look into the blots and stains of right.] Mr. Theobald reads, with the first folio, blots, which being so early authorised, and so much better understood, needed not to have been changed by Dr. Warburton to bolts, though bolts might be used in that time for spots : so Shakspere calls Banquo “ spotted with blood, the blood-bolter'd Banquo." The verb to blot is used figuratively for to disgrace a few lines lower. And,
perhaps, after all, bolts was only a typographical mis. take.
JOHNSON Blot is certainly right. The illegitimate branch of a family always carried the arms of it with what, in an. cient heraldry, was called a blot or difference. So, in Drayton's Epistle from Q. Isabel to K. Richard II. “ No bastard's mark doth blot his conq'ring
shield.” Blots and stains occur again together in the first scene of the third act.
STEEVENS. It is common to say of a person who hath disgraced himself by a base action, that it is a blot in his scatcheon.
139. You are the hare,---] So, in the Spanish Tragedy:
“ He hunted well that was a lion's death;
STEEVENS. 145. lilies as sightly on the back of him,
As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass: -] The shoes of Hercules are more than once introduced in the old comedies on much the same occasions. So, in The Isle of Gulls, by J. Day, 1606 :
-are as fit, as Hercules's shoe for the foot of a
pigmy." Again, in Greene's Epistle Dedicatory to Perimedes the Blacksmith, 1588: " -and so lest I should shape Hercules' shoe for a child's foot, I commend your wor. ship to the Almighty," Again, in Greene's Penelope's
Web, 1601: I will not make a long harvest for a small crop, nor go about to pull a Hercules' shoe on Achilles' foot.' Again, ibid.
" Hercules' shoe will never serve a child's foot." Again, in Stephen Gosson's School of Abuse, 1579 : " —to draw the lyon's skin upon Æsop's asse, or Hercules' shoes on a childes feete."
STEEVENS. 151. King Lewis,–] Thus the folio. The modern editors read-Philip, which appears to be right. It is however, observable, that the answer is given in the old copy to Lewis, as if the dauphin, who was afterwards Lewis VIII. was meant to have been the speaker. The speech itself, indeed, seems appropriated to the king, and nothing can be inferred from the folio with any certainty, but that the editors of it were careless and ignorant.
STEEVENS. 171. Now shame upon you whe'r she does or no.] Wher for whether. See note on Julius Cæsar.
MALONE. 188. I have but this to say
That he's not only plagued for her sin,
But, &c.] This passage appears to me very obscure. The chief difficulty arises from this, that Constance having told Elinor of her sin-conceiving womb, pursues the thought, and uses sin through the next lines in an ambiguous sense, sometimes for crime, and sometimes for offspring.
He's not only plagued for her sin, &c. He is not only made miserable by vengeance for her sin or crime; but her sin, her offspring, and she, are made the instru
ments of that vengeance on this descendant; who, though of the second generation, is plagued for her and with her ; to whom she is not only the cause but the instrument of evil.
The next clause is more perplexed. All the editions read,
-plagu'd for her,
All punish'd in the person of this child.
-plagu'd for her
Her injury, the beadle to her sin. That is, instead of inflicting vengeance on this innocent and remote descendant, punish her son, her immediate offspring: then the affliction will fall where it is deserved ; his injury will be her injury, and the misery of her sin; her son will be a beadle, or chastiser, to her crimes, which are now all punish'd in the person of this child.
JOHNSON. Mr. Roderick reads,
-plagu'd for her,
And with her plagu’d; her sin, his injury.
this I have to say,
for her ;